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Complete Jawbreaker Page: Interviews

1996: Geek America

Mike: This is for Geek America Fanzine.

Blake: Geek America?

M: Yep.

B: Okay.

M: I guess you can't introduce the whole band, it's just you...

B: I can actually, theres Adam, he plays drums, and Chris, he plays bass.

M: First thing I was going to ask was how'd you guys get started, a band, how did you meet and get started.

B: Uh, Adam and I went to school together in Santa Monica, we played in bands then. Then we went to school in New York and met Chris and started playing there and that was it.

M: What made you start playing the style of music you started playing?

Is there a band you got influences off of?

B: All the bands. All the bands in LA during High School for me. Chris had an East Coast background, so he was really into DC stuff and it all morphed into a collective gel. I dunno, it's always changing.

M: What were you guys like in High School?

B: I had acne and three really good friends. And I stole a bass from my french class, that's how I started playing (laughter). It's true, I can talk about it now, I'm graduated.

M: Did it have the school initials carved into the back?

B: No, someone left it, an awesome Gibson Bass in the closet in this french class, and I would sit in the back of this class, cause I'm bad at french. I opened the door one day and there it was. So I went back after class one day and snaked it. Then I taught myself how to play.

M: So, acne, those 3 friends... is it safe to say you were a geek?

B: Yeah, but I'm not into the new geekdom. I have this whole theory about it. The new geeks and the new alternative are really hateful, and true geeks don't have that kind of malice. I think there's this whole "geek revenge through fashion" thing going on, which I think is bogus. Like, True geeks don't have to prove it. I think there's a lot of "Foe Geeks" out there right now perpetrating.

M: I vouch for that (laugh)

B: You know what I mean, It's like shiek to define yourself as geek. You know, a lot of people are claiming that, but you have to have been beaten up and worked and humiliated a lot.

M: You have to do the time of being lauged at...

B: You gotta pay your dues man!

M: ... gotta be rejected, exactly! You can't call yourself geek until you've had a rock thrown at you or something.

B: Yeah, It looks like something happened over here (pointing at mikes head)

M: Yeah, that was a car accident.

B: Oh.

M: I was in an accident yesterday, so that wasn't anything geek, just plain bad luck.

B: hmm. But yeah, I think I can safely claim to have been a geek.

M: Geekdom

SteveO: -Breaking your ankle was pretty geek.

M: Yeah, that was pretty geek, I brke my ankle because I was in my room playing guitar and I jumped and landed on my guitar case. I screwed up my ankle, I was all by myself so I felt like a geek.

B: wow.

S: Where do you get a lot of your inspiration for your lyrics, because they're really like, kind of poetic.

B: Mostly from this kid here (some guy, roadie, brother, ?, sorry). He's kind of my muse, I keep him in the room when I'm writing.

Kid: I actually ghost wrote every single lyric, from 1991 on. Before that it was Blake.

B: Yeah, I don't know. They're journals, it's all true, pretty much. There's been a couple of fictional ones that are all really clearly fictional. But for the most part, it's just shit that's happened to me.

S: They're really poetic, abstract--

B: See people say that but it's like--

S: do you read poetry or anything like that?

B: Oh Yeah, yeah, that's the new thing for me, I've always been a heavy fiction reader, but I just got into poetry over the last couple of years and I just thought "Aah, I'm not getting it", I just didn't feel like I was getting it. I just felt like I was wasting the poets time and my time. Then I read some stuff and got it! Sylvia Platth, Ann Sexton was like the window, you know.

M: I think DEAR YOU is a lot more poetic, I think all the lyrics have been good, but i think DEAR YOU has been especially poetic, I like it.

B: I'm proud of those lyrics, I worked on those a lot on their own as lyrics, outside of just the musical realm. I guess those get a little abstract at times, but those are all very true stories.

Cody: How come you guys don't play any songs off unfun? Because I think there's a lot of really good songs on there.

B: I think it's just because we haven't played them for years, we just keep moving forward, I'll take lumps (?) for them, because people who just heard of us last year are like "what the fuck?" and I can understand that. It's just I don't want to play them if we don't need them, that's usually what it is. We could just half ass'em, but that would be... Whack! (laughter)

C: You guys seemed kind of bitter on tuesday with that "Sea Foam Green" deal I yelled "Sea Green Foam" because that's what it says on the record (punk USA) Chris was like...

B: Chris always snaps on-- He's really into syntaxed addiction. It wasn't your fault. It was a typo on lookouts part.

S: Why was Adam mad? Beacuse he grabbed his crash and threw it.

B: What show was that?

S: World Beat Center, San Diego, 2 days ago..

B: Oh, that was because we sucked that night, it was totally rough. He just had a really hard show. There was no moniter, he couldn't hear anything he was really bummed.

M: How come you guys never did anything on lookout besides the one song on punk USA?

B: um, Communion was our label. We did one off basically for Ben Weasel, for that comp. But anything else we do usually goes to communion.

M: And you did that stuff on shredder.

B: Well, that was our first label.

M: Lots of bands like Shredder will usually go to Lookout and stuff like that.

B: Yeah, we just kind of got hooked up with Communion and I liked that label a lot. They were cool because they didn't have any stigma. You don't know what kind of label it is. You get Jawbreaker, There'd be Bitch Magnet and John Pulsard Experience and just fucked up bands that just don't seem like a whole posse. I don't know if I'm too warm with the notion of stable, y'know, although I like lookout a lot, I think they're an awsome label, and they're kicking a lot of ass, which is cool.

M: How are you guys doing on Geffen, besides probably getting shit from everybody?

B: The getting shit part is to be expected.

S: Did it die down?

B: Yeah, It got better, more people kind of warmed up to the record.

S: Initially I thought it sounded overproduced, but I like it now.

B: A lot of people said that and I didn't defend it off the bat, because everytime we came out with a new record that happened. We were all more sensative this time when we went out on tour, when I came out it was heavy people were just like, "hey, I got your record" uh, alright.

S: Because the voice was a lot cleaner than usual on that.

B: yeah.

M: It sounds really good.

S: It sounds good but when I first heard it I wasn't expecting it, when a change comes into a band that drastic it's like...

B: Well, I kind of do that every record.

S: Yeah, that just seems to be the most drastic of them all.

M: The skip from Bivouac to 24 hour, the style change is like, Bivouac is a lot harder and a little more Emo and 24 hour is a lot more poppy, I wouldn't expect that.

B: Uh huh, usually we're writing in reaction to the last album, like Unfun was a spazz and Bivouac was a total bummer--

M: I thought it was good.

B: Oh! but I mean it was down and the whole attitude and the songs are epic and twisted, and I was so bored of this epic so we went straight ahead into fast shit. And then DEAR YOU is like, lets space it out more. And now we're writing Spastic shit again.

M: Oh really?

S: Yeah, one of the new songs you had that really grungy voice again, you played it the other night.

B: Yeah, we've been doing some live, like a lot of Dear You I wrote by myself so the vocals are a little more subdued because they're kind of lung songs, and we've been writing shit where I'm just screaming the words, just on top of the music, which is cool, I didn't like it for a while, but now I do because I like stretching, it's good.

M: When are you going to have a new album out?

S: New anything?

B: I have no Idea

S: Will you put out a 7" on geffen?

C: I saw one it was import, it was like $10 it had fireman and lurkerII and something else, but it was $10 and I didn't have that much money.

B: It's not worth it, I wouldn't buy it.

C: Well, I thought it was cool. Import y'know.

S: So are you going to put out singles or anything on Geffen?

B: Um, I don't know. I want to have an album. I'm much more into putting out records.

M: How many new songs do you have out now?

B: About 6 or 7 we need about 10 more so we can chop a few. Our future is so uncertain. It always is, I don't even prognasticate.

M: Is there anything else you want to say, we're out of questions.

B: No way, It's alright, that's enough right?

M: Sure, thanks a lot.

S: Thanks.

B: Sure.

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